Dean Bennett, THE CANADIAN PRESS
14 May 2008 03:32
EDMONTON - David Beckham - bum foot and all - put on a show Tuesday, but it was the Vancouver Whitecaps who took care of the bottom line.
Forward Eduardo Sebrango scored on a picture-perfect cross in the 66th minute to propel the Whitecaps to a 2-1 win over Beckham's LA Galaxy before 37,104 fans in an exhibition game at Commonwealth Stadium. Beckham played 75 minutes, recording one assist two shots on net.
He said afterward he had injured his foot in a recent Major League Soccer game against Salt Lake when another player ran through him as he prepared to strike the ball.
"I just caught the bottom of his studs. It's just bruising. There's a slight lump on the top of my foot," he said.
"I've played with that for three games since, so it's just one of those things that are going to be there."
He said he didn't want to miss the game.
"People to want you to perform, whether it's a friendly match or an MLS game or whether you're playing for your country. People expect to see something. You try to do that in every game.
"Having a hand in the goal today helped. I played a few nice passes. Overall it was enjoyable. I enjoyed it."
It was the second friendly in six months between the two teams.
They played to a scoreless draw in Vancouver last November before more than 48,000, and decided on a rematch in Edmonton because of the grass surface in Commonwealth and to help grow the sport in Western Canada.
Sebrango, the Whitecaps' leading scorer this season, outran Galaxy defender Abel Xavier and redirected a Nick Webb crossing pass under the outstretched arm of goalie Josh Wicks from five yards out for the winner.
"It felt good. We wanted to come here and have a good game and we did that," said the 35-year-old Cuban.
"We worked very hard and we deserved to win."
He said he was surprised the majority of fans cheered for the Galaxy.
"We're all Canadians here so I thought they would cheer for us, but we enjoyed it very much."
The Whitecaps held the edge in play throughout the game, outshooting Los Angeles 14-8.
They blitzed the Galaxy in the first half, but only came away with a 1-1 tie.
Forward Nick Adderly opened the scoring in the fourth minute, breaking in to the right of Wicks and pushing the ball past him from 20 yards out inside the far post.
Minutes later, he hit the far goalpost on a breakaway.
The Galaxy battled back, led by Beckham's laser beam cross-field passes that landed on the feet of streaking forward Alan Gordon.
Flashbulbs popped from one end of the stands to the other when Beckham lined up for a 30-yard free kick that just missed the near post.
In the 43rd minute, he connected on a cross-field pass that Gordon headed at the side of the net past goalie Srdjan Djekanovic.
The crowd cheered for Beckham at every turn and the stands were spotted with familiar No. 23 jerseys.
The 33-year-old Englishman has enjoyed a resurgent year, his second in Major League Soccer.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, known for his crosses and bendy free kicks, has scored three goals and four assists so far in the MLS season.
He has been named the league's player of the week twice and has paired up with linemate Landon Donovan to form the deadliest one-two punch in the league. Donovan, who leads the MLS with eight goals, was a late scratch for the match with a right calf strain.
Notes: Canadian Ante Jazic of Halifax played 62 minutes, recording one shot on net. The Galaxy defender had ankle surgery in December, but received medical clearance to play.
News from ©The Canadian Press, 2008